Goodbye, August! Hello, Fall?

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Happy Last Day of August! Can you believe it’s come already? Can you believe school and Fall and Halloween are coming so soon?!? I’m in shock. This month gone too fast. Every single month seems to being going faster and faster, doesn’t it? So since it’s the last day of the month, I figured it was time for a check in of my 40 by 40!

Good-bye, August! Hello, September!

Since I first posted my 40 by 40 Challenge a few weeks ago, there have been a few changes around my casa. The biggest being that whole “Get a J-O-B” goal has been pushed back … again. My family needs me at home for a little while longer. Whomp-whomp … buuuuuut then I decided now was the perfect time chasing a few other goals … namely monetizing the blog, working on a book, and pursuing being published somewhere big. I already have some pretty exciting news on these fronts, but I have to keep that under wraps for a little while longer!

My #40Bagsin40Days Challenge (which is taking much longer than 40 days) is moving ahead full steam. Everything you seem on the garage floor below (plus a few large items not pictured) will be leaving my house within the next two weeks! It feels so good to get rid of so much!

#40Bagsin40Days

My capsule wardrobe is coming right along, too, and I hope to share about my process soon. I’m still figuring out how to make it work for me, but already I love the entire concept and process! This post will definitely be coming out in September!

Capsule Closet

I have also started the process of losing weight (though not lots of it yet). I’ve been following an exercise plan (Supreme 90 Day System) for about two weeks now so I’m sore. All. the. time. It’s a great program, and those my weight loss numbers aren’t as big as I’d like, I can see a difference in how much I’m able to do with the program! I’ve also been trying to eat better and avoid late night snacking, which are going … ok. Eating better is easy. Giving up snacks sucks! It’s a process, right?

Coming in September:

I have big plans for the next month’s take on the 40 by 40. You will probably see some changes to the blog (all good things, I hope), as well as finally sharing my big news. I will also continue my weight loss journey (10 down, 40 to go!)

I have a collection planned, and I’ll be sharing that next week in connection with another goal … AND I NEED YOUR HELP! Check back next Monday for those details!

So that’s my August and a quick look at September! What have you been up to? Do you have big goals or plans for September or the months or years to come? Share in the comments!

 

Friday Five: A Roller Coaster Week for Me and a Giveaway for YOU

So, yeah … it’s been one of those weeks. Good then bad. Up then down. This-is-nice then holy-cow-let-me-off-this-roller-coaster! Read through to hear about AND to enter to win a VERY cute giveaway!

Friday Five ... and a Giveaway

one … good

My first post this week, You Might Be a Chief’s Spouse If, was pretty popular! You guys shared it on Facebook almost 2000 times! Thanks! You rock! In fact, you guys rocked my blog stats all week long! Comments, shares, and likes were way up which for a blogger is like walking into a Chocolate and Wine Store advertising calorie-free everything!

two … better

As you may have seen on Facebook, on Tuesday night I had the opportunity to speak with the Bama Gold FRG about the Cycle of Deployment, honestly one of my favorite topics to talk about! We had a great time, and I thought to myself, “Jodi, you should do that more often!” So here it is … a brand new Guest Speaking page on the blog offering my services as a FREE Guest Speaker at your FRG meeting or event. This is for the local folks, of course (unless you plan on footing a plane ticket 😉 ).

three … not as good

I’ve had my eyes on the prize of going back to work the instant Alli goes to school basically since Alli was born five years ago. This week … well, I had a setback. My family needs me at home for a little while longer. I’ve loved being a stay-at-home mom, but I’ve dreamed about going back to work for a long time now. Whomp-whomp-whomp …

four … looking up

Setback Comeback

But then I saw this quote on Facebook, and my mood and viewpoint immediately shifted. Seriously. Since I can’t work the way I wanted to originally … well … the only thing I can say right now is where there’s a will there’s a way, and I have the WILL!

five … and YOU’RE the best!

I absolutely LOVE military spouses (you were the HIGHLIGHT of my week, right?), and when the lovely milspouse behind Sandy Kisses offered to giveaway one of these ADORABLE signs to one of my amazing readers, I said YES! YES! YES!

Save Water Shower with a Sailor

I shared THIS photo on Instagram recently of the adorable Sandy Kisses sign hanging in my house right now, and I love it! Great quality and just plain fun!

Entering is easy. Here’s the details:

    • The prize: One “Save Water Shower with a Sailor” sign provided by Sandy Kisses
    • You must be 18 or older to win and be a resident of the good old USA.
    • This contest will run for two weeks, closing on Friday, September 11, 2015.
    • At close of contest one winner will be randomly chosen by Rafflecopter. I will announce your name here on the blog and on Facebook. Please respond within 48 hours so I can pass your information on to Sandy Kisses, or another winner will be drawn.
    • Sandy Kisses has offered to customize your sign with either “Chief” or “Sailor” and rate! (She’s so awesome!)
    • Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

My Deployment ABC’s

Please enjoy this new and improved #throwbackthursday post from
the early days of Back on Land.


Deployment sucks. Enough said. We miss our sailors. Everything breaks at once. The kids go a little nutty, and there’s just never enough wine. Amiright? But since we really have no choice in actually making it through, it’s good to have some easy strategies for getting through. How easy, you ask? Why … as easy as My Deployment ABCs!

My Deployment ABCs

A – Ask for help!  We all need it sometimes. Don’t be afraid to ask when you need it. Also help others when you can. Deployments really are a group effort!

B – Be sad! Or mad. Or a little scared. All of these emotions are normal during deployment. Take a day and feel those things; just don’t let negative emotions get the best of you. If you think they are getting the best of you, reach out for help!

C – Count your blessings!  If you’re feeling down, take a moment to count all the good things you have going for you. I have healthy kids, a husband who loves me, a nice house, a warm bed, and a full belly. I’m a very lucky girl! Some people even make lists of their blessings to look back on when they aren’t feeling so very lucky!

D – Don’t believe the rumors! It doesn’t matter if your friend tells you or the FRG president or the nice neighbor lady who “knows a guy” on the waterfront. If the information doesn’t come directly from the Ombudsman, it’s likely untrue, and believing rumors can really set you up for disappointment.

E – Eat! Okay, eat healthy! Take this time to improve your diet. And sometimes don’t eat healthy. Take a pizza and ice cream day. Sometimes a day of comfort food is just what you need.

F – FRG (Family Readiness Group) – Hanging out with a group who completely understands what you are going through can help you feel less alone! Plus sometimes there’s food … and cheap or free childcare … and maybe even prizes! That’s more than enough to get me out of the house!

G – Go outside! Get some sunshine on your face! Breathe fresh air! Take a walk a around the block or a local park! Getting a little much needed Vitamin D can vastly improve your mood!

H – Have faith!  Whether faith to you means relying on your church family or simply believing that this too shall pass and that you will make it through, it helps to believe in something!

I – I CAN DO IT! Confidence is key! Many have done it before you, and many more will do it after. Make it your purpose to rock this deployment!

J – Get a J-O-B! Working can keep you busy, will give you a place to be each day, and can help you set and reach goals (save up for a post-deployment vacay, perhaps?). Besides, the sense of satisfaction that working can give is the best! Nothing says “I can do it” like a working gal!

K – Knowledge is POWER!  Educate yourself about the Cycle of Deployment, about what services are available to you, about budgeting, about relationships … Fleet and Family and Compass are two fantastic resources!

L – Lean on your support network! These days I could write a thesis on the importance of accepting help. If it wasn’t for a great group of gals driving me places, bringing me dinner, cheering for me, and just listening to me whine lately, I don’t know what I would have done!

M – Make friends! You don’t have to do this alone! Make friends who support you and know what you are going through! Deployment is not a one-man endeavor!

N – NAKED! (Just kidding! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention! lol) NEEDS! Make sure you are meeting not only your children’s or your pets needs, but also you own! Make sure you are eating right, getting sleep, and getting a little “me” time as necessary. This lifestyle isn’t the easiest, but you don’t have to be a martyr! Take care of yourself!

O – Oxygen … Okay, I’m reaching with this one, but what I mean by “oxygen” is just breathe!  Sometimes we all need to step back from a situation, whether it’s scary or sad or frustrating, and just breathe. Give yourself that moment before you proceed.

P – Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! Be like Santa and make your lists and check them twice! Make sure home, finances, ID cards, powers of attorney, etc are all taken care of BEFORE your sailor leaves!

Q – Ask Questions!  Chances are if you are wondering, someone else is, too. Your Ombudsman is a great resource! FRG meetings and Pre-Deployment Briefings are also great places to get answers!

R – Reach out! Don’t isolate yourself! Call, email, Skype, or visit family! Make friends! Join a play group! Take a class! You aren’t alone in this situation so there is no reason to be alone in your daily life! :)

S – Shhhh!!! Make sure you keep deployment specifics (dates, etc) quiet for our sailors’ safety and our own! No one needs to know that you are home alone, right? Safety first!

T – Talk about the other stuff! If you’re feeling sad, lonely, or scared, talk it out. Maybe you just need a shoulder to cry on, or maybe you need more professional help. It’s all there for you. (See letter A!:) )

U – Up! As in keep your chin UP! Sometimes simply choosing to keep your chin up, wear a smile, and have a good attitude is the perfect start to a good day. (Fake it till you make it, right?)

V – Volunteer! Helping others is a great way to lift your spirits!

W – WAH! Sometimes you just need a good old-fashioned ugly cry.

X – Exercise! It’s good for you! It releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. WIN!

Y – Yapas in keep it shut! :) Following safe OPSEC and PERSEC practices make ALL OUT LIVES safer.

Z – Zzzzzzzz …. Get plenty of sleep. We all know we work best when we are rested. Deployment is NO TIME to let yourself get depleted.

So there you have! That’s easy enough, right? Maybe not … deployment isn’t ever going to be EASY, but we can all take steps to make it better! We have to survive,
but we can all choose to THRIVE!

Do you have deployment advice to share or tips or tricks to add to the list? Let’s hear ’em!

Want to read more helpful deployment tips? Check out these posts!

5 Reasons ALL Navy Spouses NEED Compass

My Deployment Binder

5 Milspouses You NEED in Your Network

5 Reasons ALL Navy Spouses NEED Compass {NavyLife101}

I may have mentioned this once or twice before (like here, here, and here), but I truly believe Compass is the very best thing a Navy spouse can do to have a better Navy life. Period. Whether you are a brand new spouse or you’ve been around the housing block a few times, you will learn something at Compass, and you will be glad you came! Still not sure? Let me tell you 5 Reasons ALL Navy Spouses NEED Compass.

5 Reasons ALL Navy Spouses NEED Compass

{ONE} Because there’s a lot to learn.

Navy Life is like a culture all its own. The language, the dress, the strange music blaring out over the base every morning at 8 am! Coming from a nice, comfy civilian life there is a mountain of information you need to lead the most successful Navy life, and Compass is here to teach you!

{TWO} Because you probably have questions.

What’s a PRD? How to I get on DEERS? How do I read an LES, and how the hell am I going to make it through a deployment alone?!? What does it mean if my sailor says this, does that, or ask me for whatever? You have questions (don’t worry, that’s normal!); Compass has answers.

Compass has answers!

{THREE} And this is the PERFECT place to get those answers.

There are other places to get this info. Endless Googling … got some extra time? Facebook groups … you’ve honestly got a 50-50 shot on Facebook. How about the nice neighbor lady in housing who seems to know everything and always “knows a guy” who works on the waterfront? Maybe take her advice with a grain of salt.

Compass, on the other hand, is taught FOR Navy spouses BY Navy spouses who have taken training and who have one more important thing … experience. Everyone in your class, Mentors and participants alike, have either already gone through what you are going through, are going through it right now,  or will at some point.

{FOUR} Compass is pretty much everywhere!

There are 20 Compass chapters all over the world just waiting for you to sign up! Click the link and find one near you!

{FIVE} All this at my FAVORITE price!

All Compass classes are completely free! The class, the materials, babysitting, and meals during the session … all for the low-low price of ZERO DOLLARS! There should be no reason for any Navy spouse not to be able to take a Compass course!

So is Compass is just for new Navy spouses? Bummer!

While Compass is geared toward new spouses, it’s a great class for ANY Navy spouse at ANY place of your Navy experience. New spouses will gain a lot of new knowledge. More seasoned spouses will gain up to date information, enjoy the friendship and fellowship of other Navy spouses, and perhaps most importantly … share your experience. Chime in during class with your tips. Ask good questions. Befriend a newer spouse. We all had help on the way up; we all need to pay that forward.

Have you taken a Compass course? Yes? Awesome! Share this post AND Compass with another Navy spouse right now! If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s no better time than the present! You WON’T regret it!

You Might Be a Chief’s Spouse If …

I remember the day Josh was pinned as a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy like it was yesterday. I was so nervous, praying I wouldn’t drop the anchor I was to attach to his collar, incredibly proud of all that he had accomplished, and excited for the future that had now opened up to him. Little did I know just how BOTH our lives he would change with this one “little” promotion. I recently joined a fabulous online community of people of Chief Spouses, and it was easy to pick out a few ways to see You Might Be a Chief’s Spouse If …

You Might Be a Chief's Spouse If ...

{ONE}

Your sailor is The Chief all year long, but “The Season” transforms him into The Chief times ten!

{TWO}

The Season is like its own holiday; therefore, you NEVER try to take leave from August 1st to September 16th.

{THREE}

Your decorating style can best be described as Anchors. And maybe wine. Yes, anchors and wine is just your style.

{FOUR}

Your sailor is on his phone, answers questions or giving direction, more than your teenage daughter. Middle of the night, dinnertime, or any-other-inconvenient-time calls become the rule, not the exception.

{FIVE}

You probably complain about gas prices all year long (just like the rest of the world), but during The Season you’ll throw out a $10 or $20 tip at a Gas & Glass without a second thought.

{SIX}

This sign TOTALLY speaks to you …

This sign was created for me by the incredibly talented, Sandy Kisses. Click over and check out her other amazing products, AND check back later this
week for an awesome Sandy Kisses giveaway!

{SEVEN}

Khaki Ball is the one ball you actually like going to. It’s a little less formal … a lot more fun! Too bad most of them are wine-blurry …

{EIGHT}

You keep a separate stash of tag sale items in the garage just for the Chief Selects. It’s hard raising all that money, and you want to help when you can!

{NINE}

You’ve ever had to wait for CPO Redistro for orders … (still waiting … not bitter … not at all)

{TEN}

For six weeks of every year, PT starts earlier, training days last longer, phone calls and texts double (or triple), and your sailor can’t think of much of anything else besides “the Season” … and you love him or her all the more for it!!!

What do you think? Are you a Chief’s Spouse? What else makes a Chief Spouse? Let’s hear it in the comments!

You Might Also Like …

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4 Simple Tips for Helping Your CPO Select

Six Tips for Surviving Chief Season as a CPO Select Spouse